Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Under the Surface

I am back home now. I suppose home is a fairly relative term here on earth. I didn't know how thrilled I would be to return. Now it seems as if I hadn't left. I had an amazing vacation in Egypt. Seems I'm incredibly gifted at sitting on the beach with friends and a book. The Red Sea reef has to be among the most beautiful places I've ever seen. To be sure, heading out there wasn't much to look at. Wilderness, as it is described in the Old Testament, is in my opinion a gentle term for the Sinai Peninsula. Though the mountains make a remarkable landscape, the barrenness of the soil leaves much to be desired compared to the world's greener places. I see how the Israelites hated it so. But, did they realize that only a few feet under the surface of the water was so beautiful? I doubt it. The corals were bright pink, red, orange, yellow and even purple. And the fish! Just about every color anyone could imagine could be found on those amazing fish! They were all sizes, some swam in huge schools and some by themselves. I've never seen anything like it in all my life. I kept thinking about the creativity, the complexity and the attention to detail that our God has. The ocean, what we call the abyss, contains within it a creation so beautiful that Egypt made it a national park. Not to mention, I seriously doubt the fish have any idea of how remarkable they are as they swim about finding food from the reef.

The Red Sea reef served a good lesson for me about God's activity on the earth. Some people, places or situations seem left alone by the Sovereign, and as we ache to see Him move, we forget that we are only catching a small glimpse of the surface of it all. We can't put on snorkels and explore situations, but we have to trust that He IS working, He IS moving, and He IS bringing all things to glorify His name. I struggle with this fact nearly every single day. He continues to teach me to accept His promises as true, even though I can't see them coming to fruition from my vantage point. He continues to teach me to run this race with endurance. He works in ways that I cannot see. He is doing things that I cannot imagine, I only must believe and continue running. The more I try to wrap my mind around it, or see all of His activity, the more likely I am to put off belief and trust in His promises until I fully understand. I can't pursue seeing how He is working more than trusting His promises to be true and being involved in His work. Perhaps in seeking results I am merely seeking a reward, a recognition of my own work, rather than His own glory. And in turning my efforts towards seeking those results, I pull energy and efforts away from being the instrument that I am. And that has got to be among the things those things that hinder and we must set aside (Heb 12).

Speaking of running, I used to do it a lot and sure wouldn't mind picking it back up. Please remember my left foot (not the movie) as a doctor recently told me I have had some nerve trauma and possible cartilage damage. I feel far to young to be modifying my work out regime as much as I have had to do. I don't imagine I'll be sticking my feet into climbing shoes anytime soon either. The good news is that there isn't a wall here for me to wear my climbing shoes. But, in what world is that good news?

Does anybody read this thing?

"A god comprehended is no god." Chesterton